As of Wednesday, the White House announced a new effort aimed at making illicit drug use safer for the general public. Programs like syringe exchanges and the opioid overdose antidote naloxone will get $30 million in financing. According to a statement made earlier this year, the Biden administration has decided to focus on harm reduction measures as a primary priority.
Drug Czar Thinks It’s Time To Treat Drug Addiction As A Long-Term Illness
This is the first time this plan has been implemented in such a straightforward way by this government. The overdose problem in the nation has already reached crisis proportions. Therefore the timing is unfortunate.
More than 100,000 people died from drug overdoses in the United States between April 2020 and May 2021, the highest number ever recorded in a single 12-month period. According to the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Dr. Rahul Gupta, it’s like one American dying every five minutes. An exclusive interview with the media’s Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, is shown. There isn’t any connection between the two medical professionals at all.
They have a unique number assigned to them. This number must be seen as undesirable by them as well. It’s a first-of-its-kind invention. Dr. Rahul Gupta stated that they had to obtain a response equal to or larger than the previous year’s response. Overdoses from fentanyl, which is 50 times more powerful than heroin, are the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. In order to increase the efficacy of phony prescription drugs, it is utilized as a cutting agent to prolong the supply of heroin. Synthetic opioids like fentanyl, according to the most recent figures, are responsible for about 70% of all overdose deaths.
As a result, many of these (overdoses) may be prevented in the wild, according to Gupta. Gupta, like his predecessors, has visited the border to have a better grasp of how to stop the flow of fentanyl into the US. As of now, there is an abundance of fentanyl on the market, which is easily transportable and very dangerous. And it’s a problem in every area of the country. According to him, this is what’s causing all of the problems. If you think of this as solely a problem of law enforcement, you are missing the point. According to him, the problem doesn’t end at the border. At the emergency department, things come to an abrupt stop.
Before his current position, Gupta worked as West Virginia’s health commissioner and the state’s medical examiner. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the first physician to assume the role of drug czar, feels that harm reduction, which is the notion of lowering overdoses by making drug use safer, is essential. As Gupta noted, in addition to expanding the use of the opioid-reversal drug naloxone and setting up syringe exchanges, the Biden administration is emphasizing actions such as increasing the use of fentanyl test strips to identify the presence of the fatal opiate.
Controversial in the past, skeptics have claimed that harm reduction might increase drug abuse. Gupta, an evidence-based physician who has spent his whole career dealing with research and moving data around, feels that we don’t have that proof right now.
Gupta said that political concerns should be excluded from the approach to minimize overdoses. When a person has a drug use disorder or an overdose, they are simply individuals regardless of whether it is deadly or nonfatal.